Hospital Bag

all you need to pack for giving birth at the hospital.

Towards the end of pregnancy make sure to have your hospital bag ready, so that you have a smooth beginning. It should contain practical things, items that make you feel safe and must-have documents.

Must-have documents

In most hospitals it is possible to apply for your baby's birth certificate during your post-labor stay. Some hospitals have an in-house Standesamt. Their staff might come to your room, but more often you have to go to their office in the hospital to register your baby. Make sure to ask the hospital you plan to give birth about their procedure and what documents they require.

Here is a list of the documentation you need to bring with you in your hospital bag. 
Make a copy of these documents and bring the copies as well as the originals:

  • Mutterpass (no copy needed) and referral from the OBGYN
  • Health Insurance Card of the mother / mother to be (no copy needed)
  • Passport (please also copy your Visa)
  • Birth Certificate of both parents (-to-be) (translated into German)*
  • Declaration of paternity / Vaterschaftsanerkennung (only if parents aren't married)
  • Diplomas for any parent who has a Master's Degree or higher (if you wish to have your qualification initials included on the birth certificate)
  • Parents' marriage certificate (translated into German)* / **
  • Proof of residence

* It is recommended and sometimes requested to get your birth certificates and marriage certificate translated into German. Again you could check this with the Standesamt beforehand
**If you have  an International Marriage License (EU), you do not need a translation.

Here is a link to our blog post about the birth certificate with more information.


During labor

  • Snacks for you and your partner or number of a food delivery service plus some snacks for later while being in the hospital
  • Loose cotton gown / beach dress / long T-Shirt to give birth in
  • Something warm for after labor e.g. cardigan
  • Drinks (water, often fizzy, will likely be nearby during labor, but if you want any other drinks, make sure to bring it with you - Coke might be a good idea)
  • Thick socks (for during and after birth)and slippers - easy on and off
  • Hair tie
  • Lipbalm
  • A set of extra clothes to change for you and your partner
  • Swim trunks/suit for your birthing partner in case he or she wants to join you in the bath tub.

 During your stay

  • Loose night gown or shirt; ideally opening in the front for easy breast feeding
  • Nursing bras or nursing vests / tops
  • Cotton underwear / panties - some swear on satin pajama pants, as they help you move better in bed
  • Dressing gown
  • Toiletries (such as shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, toothbrush) Heavy duty pads will be provided by the hospital during your stay (make sure to have them at home.)
  • Spare towel for your partner if you will be staying in a 'family room' together
  • Camera 
  • Phone and charger (plus enough space for pictures on your phone) and a 
  • Comfortable clothes for you to wear during your stay (leggings, wide shirts and clothes for when you leave the hospital)
  • Slippers (easy on) and/or FlipFlops
  • hand cream
  • noise cancelling headphone or ear plugs in case you share a room
  • your own (nursing) pillow if wanted
  • portable bidet - like Happypo from DM -but they also provide jars at the hospital (to rise down)

For your baby:

  • Baby clothes usually size 56/62
    (the hospitals usually provide basic clothing for your baby during your stay. You only need baby clothes when leaving the hospital. Make sure they are suitable according to the season.)
  • a blanket to cover your baby leaving the hospital or in winter a tiny foot muff or swaddling blanket.
  • muslin / burp cloth for going home
  • Newborn car seat if you leave by car or taxi or a stroller / baby carrier.

Others

  • Music
  • A book / magazine
  • Pen and paper

Some Ideas from our community:

"Eye mask, to be able to close your eyes for a rest at any moment of the day without having to figure out how the light switches at the hospital work or if it will annoy your roommate"

"My roomate and I kept the "small" light on because we woke up so often to breastfeed. But if you find yourself wanting a darkroom with a roomate that likes the dark too, then perhaps bring a nightlight? DM sell these adorable little bear nightlights that my 8 month loves to chew on and play with and it has 3 options: white, changing colors, blue/green/orange. Love it."

"I would say powerbanks and snacks... Like, not just light snacks or chips. I asked my husband to bring me some ramen cups and sandwiches for the 2nd night because I was starving in the middle of the night after birth."

"A travel bidet, Movicol (to loosen stool) - hospital has some other laxative variant too but it tastes bad, easy slip on sandals / loose pants - forget anything with laces or straps , you will be in too much pain to bend down, nursing top (substitute for a nursing bra), a mini fan ( for summer birth, as you will be so hot due to hormones, but central ac in hospitals usually disallow opening windows), a sports bottle with straw for drinking at any angle without exerting your lower abdomen"

And here you can download a PDF with more tips from mom to mom also sharing a lot of useful postpartum advise & products.

March 2020 - Update April 22
Gravidamiga Manual Hospital Bag (from our birth preparation classes)
This blog post has been prepared with the greatest possible care and does not claim to be correct, complete or up-to-date.“

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